Listen to the full episode here.
00:00:43 Hi, welcome to Master Coach Mindset™. My name is Rhonda Britten. Today, we’re talking about “The Coaching Path.” This whole season, I’m so excited about because it’s really the making of a Coach. Today’s Episode, we’re going to get into the nitty-gritty of the things that you need in order to have a thriving practice. We’re going to get into contracts and confidentiality agreements, etc.. And of course, suggestions on how you can also make money as a Coach. Those all things are coming up in this Episode. Let’s start off with the nitty-gritty.
00:01:15 First one, the most important one, in order to make your Clients feel safe and to have everything out on the table is a confidentiality agreement. Every Client wants to know if you’ll keep a secret, and you need to not only tell your Client in verbal while you’re on the phone, but you need to have it in writing. That creates trust, and it creates a relationship of trust, so make sure that you have a confidentiality clause inside your contract. Now, you might be thinking, “Contract? I don’t have a contract.”
00:01:49 Well, many Coaches don’t have contracts, but I suggest that you do. It creates a professional relationship, and you must decide if coaching is a hobby or a profession. If it’s a hobby, you may never have a contract. Even there, I would suggest that you have one. Think about what do you want in your contract? I include things like rate of the pay, rate of investment, the payment plan. I include media releases, etc., and of course my confidentiality agreement. If you belong to the Insider’s Club, right inside the Insiders Club, I have included my contract that I use, which includes my confidentiality clause.
00:02:37 Go ahead if you’re in the Insiders Club, go and grab mine now. Of course, don’t copy it word for word. Make your own version of it because those things relate to me, and it’s a great template to start yours with. I know so many Coaches are scared to have a contract because it feels too formal and then they actually have to go over the money with their Client and go through it. Like I said, I’m going to tell you something that I didn’t believe either. When you go through that contract, step by step with your Client, you actually create trust. It creates a professional relationship.
00:03:18 Not only do they think you are more accomplished, but they also trust you more, and it creates a basis and a document that you can refer back to if there’s problems in your relationship. In there we’ll talk about cancellation clauses. Like, can they cancel 24 hours out or can they cancel at the last minute, and how many times can they cancel, and homework requirements. You can put anything in there. You can put media releases. You can say in there that you’re going to be taping your Sessions. If you are working with a mentor, that might be something that you want to do or that you record them for yourself, for your own use, and you give it to the Client.
00:03:58 Think about what you want to include inside that contract. Yes, it can be everything from how much you charge to how many Sessions they’re purchasing and what the payment plan is if there is one. That contract puts you on … Again, I just think it makes you feel grown up. That’s my cat, Jessabelle. Jessabelle has decided to come into this Session. She would like to tell you about the confidentiality and contracts. Jessabelle helped me write it, just kidding, but again, I know it’s scary. Remember last Episode we talked about when you’re going to get triggered as a Coach, the triggered Coach.
00:04:35 This might trigger you, but I really invite you if you’re going to take your business seriously if you really want to make that six figures to seven figures, contracts are going to be vital for your professionalism. So get that contract and make sure it has a confidentiality clause. Yes, you’re going to go through it with your Client step-by-step. That is an amazing way to start handling conflict, help you avoid conflict, and help you talk about the hard things right off the bat, so important to have.
00:05:11 The second thing is knowing your Sessions, how long your Session is going to be, the time of your Sessions and the cost of your Sessions. Those things are most likely inside your contract. So you need to know, “Well, do I work better in half hours or do I produce better results in half hours? Do I do everything in person? Do I do it on Zoom? Do I do it on the phone?” Now, you may not know this yet. You may not know this yet because maybe you’re a beginning coach or maybe you’ve only been coaching a hundred hours or 400 hours, and you’re not really sure yet.
00:05:40 Well, you can put it all in there and or leave that out and make sure you add it when you do know. Coaches that Coach coaching packages, which again I encourage you to do, you might put in there that your Sessions are as long as needed up to two hours or as long as needed up to 90 minutes. Or the average Session is anywhere from 30 minutes to 50 minutes. You want to put some sort of time constraint on there. Now, there are Coaches that work with Clients all day long. They do VIP days. They’re called VIP days, or some Coaches work with Clients, they don’t call them VIP days.
00:06:18 That’s just how they work with their Clients, that they work with them maybe once a month, all day long and actually go to their home and work with them in person. You get to decide. Isn’t this cool? You get to decide how you coach best. It’s not about coaching where you can make the most money, which might be part of your consideration, but also how do you work best? Some Coaches work best on the phone. They don’t want to see their Clients. They don’t want to worry about doing their hair and makeup or shaving. They just want to be on the phone and have that voice to voice.
00:06:53 Other Coaches love the interaction of face to face. Others love and need that one on one, person to person. There are some high-end Coaches that only do in person, and you must travel to their home. Again, anything’s possible. I hope that you hear that. Anything’s possible, but you have to start somewhere. Most Coaches work by phone, and they work anywhere between 30 minutes and 50 minutes to 60 minutes, so you get to decide, but if you don’t know then start on the phone, and start with 30 minute to 60 minute Sessions. Make sure that you schedule time in between each Client.
00:07:35 Don’t be like me. When I first started, I had my Clients back to back, so I had a Client at noon, at one, at two, at three, and then if I needed a break, I either had to get off the phone with my Client or be late for my next Client. Be attentive. Remember in the last Episode we talked a little bit about self-care. Make sure that you have time to go to the restroom. Go grab a drink. Center yourself again. One of the things you need inside that contract is, “Okay, how long are your Sessions?” I actually believe that you can be as successful with half-hour Sessions as with hour Sessions.
00:08:07 Some people think of half hours as a way to make more money because they can get more Clients in. That is a way to think about it. For instance, if you charge, and again, most people don’t charge by the hour, but just for ease, let’s say you charge $100 an hour or $100 per Session, and then it’s only a half hour Session. Well, then you’ve just increased your fee to $200 an hour. That’s one way to think of those 30 minute Sessions. I love coaching 30 in minute blocks, but I actually work on fear, so I am not a task-driven Coach or a results-driven Coach in the sense of A, B, C, D, E, F, and I have every single Client follow the exact same template all the time which so many Coaches do, business Coaches, Health Coaches, etc.
00:08:53 So because I work with fear, I actually allow those 45 minute to 50 minute Sessions because I need that time to really help that person move through that block. Think about what works best for you and how to produce the best results for your Clients. The other thing to think about in making of that contract is how much you charge. Like I said a minute ago, you could charge 30 minute Sessions, charge per Session $100, and then all of a sudden you’ve got two half hours, and you can make $200 an hour. I don’t believe in the whole conversation about worth, i.e., charge what you’re worth. Like I’ve shared with you before, nobody can pay me all the life experience I have, every book I’ve ever read, every course I’ve ever taken, every workshop I’ve ever led.
00:09:44 I’ve been teaching for over 24 years, and my life experiences, and again, everything I’ve done. I’ve been reading self-help since I was 12. No, nobody can pay me what I’m worth, and they can pay me something. They can pay me something that I feel good about. It really is about your confidence, your accomplishments, what you’ve achieved with your Clients because those testimonials are going to be able to increase your rate, so another thing to think about is testimonials. Make sure that you are collecting testimonials every step of the way inside your coaching practice because those testimonials will actually increase your rate and increase your confidence in order to increase that rate.
00:10:33 We need that confidentiality agreement. We need that contract, and inside that contract, we need to know how long our Sessions are. Again, it could be more general, but it might could be 30 to 60 minutes, 30 to 90, again, depending on what you want to do. Then you need to focus on what you’re going to charge. I don’t believe in charging per hour. I believe in charging per Session or per package. Some people and some Coaches charge for a year. One of our Coaches charges a year of coaching. He just posted recently… Danny just posted recently how he gives people options of coaching for 90 days, and then he has a yearlong package.
00:11:13 As he’s gotten better at talking about what he does and the results that he gives and better at asking questions and being better at really knowing who he is and what he provides, more Clients are actually choosing the yearlong option. Don’t be afraid of that year long option. Once you have some coaching under your belt, you’ll be surprised at what people want which brings me to just a side note here. We can get so caught up in what the industry standard is. Like, “Oh, I charge $125 per Session. I charge $500 per month or $1,000 per month, and that’s four Sessions or three Sessions, and that’s kind of like the norm.”
00:11:50 You might have as one of your package opportunities the yearlong package or a six-month package. That’s a little bit further out. You’ll be surprised that somebody will take you up on it. What I do, and this is my choice you don’t have to do this, but the longer people commit to working with me, I reduce their fee. Let’s say I charge $1,000 an hour. If you’re going to work with me for six Sessions, which is $6,000… I don’t remember what my fees are to be on top of my head, but let’s just make it easy. Maybe I charge $5,500 for six Sessions if you buy that package, and if it’s 10 Sessions instead of it being $10,000, it’s $9,000.
00:12:30 I do that. You do not have to do that, but one of the things that I know is it helps people make a commitment because not only are they saving money, which is a big plus for so many people, but it makes them feel smart. It makes them feel smart, but it also is just a nice benefit. They just feel supported by you, and you’re giving them a price break because they’re investing in you and you’re investing in them, and it’s a mutual relationship. Again, do you have to do that? No. All of these are optional. Do you need a confidentiality agreement? No, but I say yes. Do you need a contract? No, but I say yes, and yes, you need to know how long your Sessions are and how much you charge.
00:13:09 Like I said, I encourage you to charge in package prices. So whether that’s 90 days, whether that’s ten weeks, whether that’s six months or whether it’s a year. Again, have a variety of packages. I do. You don’t need one. Some people swear. Some people build their whole business on 90-day packages, and that’s just what they do. Ninety days and about two months in, two months and two weeks in, the person just automatically ups to the next package. You can totally do that. Again, practice, play around, see what makes you feel good. You might also have inside your contract that at the end of 90 days, it automatically re-ups if they don’t give you 30-day cancellation, and then it’s inside the contract.
00:13:54 You go, “Oh yes, I charge per 90 days.” You can have a monthly fee. Let’s say it’s, I’m going to make it up, $1,500 for three months, and it’s $500 a month or $650 a month, and $1,500 if they buy for three months. In your contract, you have in there, “And if you do not cancel within 30 days of your between 61 and 90 days, then it’s an automatic re-up for the next three months.” Then you get to talk about it at contract time, so it’s not awkward later. I think that’s one of the hard things for Coaches is that they start feeling awkward talking about money and talking about time when they already have a relationship with the Client, and they’re trying to solve their problems.
00:14:35 So contract, confidentiality, money, and time. This is another thing that you need inside your contract, which is your boundaries. Now, are you going to use the word, “These are my boundaries?” No, probably not, but you are going to give them parameters of how you work. For instance, when I first started my practice, I coached people at night, on Saturdays, pretty much whenever they wanted to coach, and I used to drive to them. Once that no longer worked for me, I had them drive to me. Once that no longer worked for me, I started getting on the phone, anytime. Then when that no longer worked for me, I started only working two nights a week.
00:15:15 When that no longer worked for me, I started only working during the day. I’ll tell you right now, it’s amazing. Everybody can find time during the day even though they work full-time, most people, to have a Session with you. Whether it’s on their lunch break, whether it’s before work. So be attentive to your Clientele. Obviously, with particular Clientele, it might be a little bit more difficult. For instance, nurses may or may not be able to, school teachers may or may not be able to, so know your Clientele and know what their day looks like. But if you’re working with executive or small business owners, they can always take an hour out of their day, and you’re there meeting time.
00:15:50 Again, make sure that you start when you start realizing what your needs are and what your parameters are, include those in your contract. Also inside your contract, state your texting and your email guidelines. Can they text you? How many texts? Is it okay to text you? If they’re a VIP Client, can they text you? What about email? Do you just accept emails any time? Now, this is normally not abused. Texting and email, I find 95% of my Clients do not text or email me in any regular way unless we make it a previous agreement, and there is going to be that one or two Clients that absolutely email you every single day, every single thought in their head.
00:16:34 You get to put a boundary up, put a parameter up, give a guideline so they can curtail themselves. They might tell you, “I’ve got to say what I’ve got to say,” and you go, “Awesome. You can email me anything and just know I will not reply. I only reply once.” That’s also something you can do. All of these things are possible. There’s no no’s. This is your business if that’s how you decide to move forward as a private Coach. This is your business. You get to decide what works for you, and that’s the exciting and scary part of coaching practice. What are your boundaries?
00:17:12 I encourage you to really include a self-care component before you start taking Clients. If you know that your family, the beginning of the week, Mondays is really hectic because it’s the first night of the week, kids in school, partner, etc., then don’t work Monday nights. Don’t take Clients Monday night. If Tuesday and Wednesdays are easier or Wednesday night is easier, great. If you don’t want to work any nights, awesome. If you don’t want to work Saturday and Sundays, awesome. This is your business. This is your choice.
00:17:39 Now, the other thing that I want to talk about is group coaching Sessions. Group classes versus private one on one, versus training versus speaking. Everything I’ve talked about up until now is about private one-on-one Sessions. I believe as a Coach, this is just for me, but I do believe it’s true for everybody. What I always like to say is that my private coaching keeps me sharp, and it also gives me depth. When you’re having group coaching Sessions with ten people, five people, eight people, don’t get me wrong, it’s a great way to give content. It’s a great way to disperse the content to everybody all at the same time.
00:18:27 It’s a great time saver because people are meeting at the same time, and you’re only meeting once to meet with ten people. Again, great time saver, but you can only get so deep in a group Session. You can only get so deep. For instance, in every single one of my courses here at the Fearless Living Institute™, not only are there group Sessions in so many of our classes, but normally in most classes, we also include one-on-one coaching because you cannot go as deep in group. Now again, do I go deep? Sure, but not as deep and not as personal. Am I capable of running an impactful group Session? You bet, but for me personally, I noticed that when I wasn’t doing private one-on-one coaching, it made me a little rusty and it didn’t give me as much depth.
00:19:18 I didn’t have more insights and ahas. I didn’t have a new generation of content. The private one-on-ones for me is where I get excited, where I write my books, where I write my articles, where I get blog ideas, etc. In group Sessions, again, I may get some, but it’s not as depthful. I just invite you to think about that because the rage now, all the rage is to maximize your time and have group coaching Sessions and coach ten people at one time. Again, a great way to save time, but you’re only going to be able to go so far and get so deep and get so good if you’re only doing group coaching. You might have a ten-week group coaching, and then give them three private Sessions and go deep in those three Sessions.
00:20:04 Give them their money’s worth. What’s the difference between group Sessions and those private Sessions and being a Coach versus training or speaking? Training is I’m in front of the room delivering content to a group. As a trainer, I’m interacting. I might have homework, questionnaires, worksheets. I might have a whiteboard. I might have a PowerPoint. I like to think of training as more interactive. I’m giving content. Just like a keynote, I’m giving content, but usually in a keynote environment, I am just providing the content. I have some interaction with the audience, but not as much as when I’m training.
00:20:47 Another way think of training is a workshop format, that you’re literally handing out worksheets and really working the worksheet. Workshops, our trainers, events where you’re doing a 90-minute talk or a 45-minute talk or 20-minute talk like a TEDx, that’s a keynote. Those are different skillsets than coaching. Just because you’re a Coach does not mean you know how to be an effective trainer, and that definitely does not mean you know how to do a keynote. Being a keynoter and a trainer are two different skills.
00:21:22 You can be a really great trainer and a poor keynote and vice versa. You can be a kick-ass keynote and not know how to give a workshop. So coaching, keynoting and training are three different skills. Honor yourself that way. Get support, get training. Here at the Fearless Living Institute, we have the Life Coach Certification Program™ where you get your Coach Certification, and then we have Business in a Box™ for you to become a Certified Fearless Trainer. Then in the Certified Fearless Trainer, you not only learn how to run a workshop, but you also have opportunities to learn how to teach online, which is a whole other skill as well as keynote.
00:22:04 I help you create your own keynote so that in and of itself is an amazing opportunity and awesome skill. That’s what we provide here at the Fearless Living Institute. There’s lots of places to get that training, but make sure the person that’s training you has actually done it themselves. That’s what I always say. If you’re going to get a mentor in business, make sure that mentor in business has actually done what you want to do. So many people that are doing business coaching right now, teaching Coaches how to run their businesses, actually have never had a private practice. They literally learned how to be a Business Coach.
00:22:37 They learned how to be a business Coach, and inside that business Coach, well, they just learned that content and they actually don’t know how to private coach. They don’t know how to go beyond what they’ve been taught. Be attentive. Be attentive. This Episode has been jampacked of just the resources that you need, just some of the logistical things you need to think about being a coach. I had so much more to share, but I guess that’s going in the next Episode. I’ll see you there.